Children’s holiday charity founder and Lee community stalwart are honoured

Dr Robin Buckland.Dr Robin Buckland.

Two North Devonians who have worked tirelessly on behalf of others have received gongs in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Dr Robin Buckland from Northam has been honoured with a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his work for children.

Ian Stuart from Lee has been given a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community in Lee and Ilfracombe.

Dr Buckland, 61, founded The Children's Holiday Foundation Charity to provide the holiday of a lifetime to Disneyland in Florida for children with life-threatening illnesses or disabilities.

Ian Stuart BEMIan Stuart BEM

Since 1993 he has been able to take 176 children on 22 separate holidays to America, tirelessly fundraising to make it possible and alongside his full time work as a GP at Northam Surgery.

He said of his award: "I am honoured to receive this award for my work with the Children's Holiday Foundation.

"I am an extremely lucky man for I have a lovely wife and family who have all been involved with helping with the charity. I have an amazing team of voluntary helpers especially Sonia and Adam who have done so much to help the children that we take to Florida.

"I am also supported by an excellent team of trustees and the very generous North Devon public. Between us all we have made a difference in the lives of some very special children and their families."

Ian Stuart, 72, presided as chairman over the rejuvenation of the Lee Memorial Hall, leading fundraising efforts to amass £130,000 to enable the refurbished building to reopen its doors in 2010.

The project saw a new extension, new kitchen and toilets, as well as new plumbing.

Bob Gilliat at Lee said: "He took it on and was very enthusiastic, he ran the whole project and it has renovated the hall considerably."

Mr Gilliat said Mr Stuart and his wife Cynthia were both dedicated to voluntary work, both with the hall and St Matthews Church at Lee.

He has served as vice chairman of the church parish council for more than a decade, and also has roles as church warden and organist.

He has been a longstanding member of Ilfracombe Rotary Club, serving as president from 2010-11 and chairman of St Nicholas Chapel from 2012-15.

Current president Erica Castle said: "He is one of the best, you can always rely on him and it's an honour for me to be his friend and his president."

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